I finally got the chance to check out The Woodland for the first time over Memorial Day weekend. The kids were at my parents and The Wife and I could enjoy a dinner on our own. We headed down to South Congress without a destination in mind and after checking out the menu at The Woodland, walking by Enoteca/Vespaio (no web site, Claude?) and South Congress Cafe, and grabbing a few discounted games at the toy shop that was closing and moving into the new space with Cissi’s Market and Mars, we headed back to The Woodland.
The menu tends towards upscale diner / comfort food, something like Moonshine, but different enough to distinguish themselves. The decor and atmosphere are very inviting. They’ve got Live Oak beers on tap along with an impressive cocktail menu which I’ll get back to in a moment. The food was better than average. I had the Pepper Crust and The Wife had the Rueben. The consensus from reviews on various sites is that the oyster appetizer is the one to get…maybe next time. The desserts were especially tempting. Between the decor and the desserts, I got a bit of a Twin Peaks vibe. The place is relatively small, but there wasn’t a wait the two times that I’ve been there.
We returned for drinks last month and had good service from the bartender, Jeff, who’s responsible for some of the unique cocktails on the menu. I recommend checking out the SoCu, which is Hendrick’s Gin and cucumber muddled with fresh rosemary, served in a salted rim glass and sprinkled with cayenne.
They tied for best new restaurant in the Readers category of this year’s Austin Chronicle Restaurant Poll. The Woodland is owned and operated by the same people that brought you Starlite Lounge on Colorade between 4th and 5th.